On Jim McGreeveyIf you've been watching any of the talk shows recently, I'm sure you've seen Jim McGreevey, New Jersey's former mayor and new gay poster boy, making the rounds talking about his new book and his fall from grace/rise to fame.
I've got some mixed feelings about Jim McGreevey. My main problem stems from the fact that the only reason we know who Jim McGreevey is--the only reason he is in the public eye--is because of some amazingly terrible decisions he made. Don't forget that Jim McGreevey never really chose to come public about being gay. And if rumors hadn't been swirling, he probably never would have made the jump out. This is a man that was forced out of the closet--someone who was firmly against gay marriage as a politician. To put it simply, he wasn't an ally until the gay community had something to offer him. Yet now that he finds himself in a situation like this, where rumors were so rampant that he had no choice but to come out, he is all of the sudden some sort of gay hero. Should we really give him a pass for his past anti-gay political stances and all of his wrong doings just because he happens to have the spotlight right now?
Don't get me wrong, I think the moves the former Governor is making now in favor of gay rights are the right ones. I just have a problem with him seemingly getting a pass on the series of horrible choices he made to get him where he is today. We should applaud him for now using his notoriety for good, but isn't there some gay person out there that we can focus on that didn't cheat on his partner, have back alley sexual encounters, and compromise his public office before finally doing good for the gay community? Can't we find that person to champion?
I don't know, maybe I've already forgotten how hard the closet is (although, trust me--his description of being in the closet were very poignant for me). Maybe I'm just a little more conservative than my friends gave me credit for. In the end, it all just seems a little to rosey for me right now.